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Is E-mail Really the Most Popular Customer Service Channel?

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November 01, 2012

Is E-mail Really the Most Popular Customer Service Channel?

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Going by the findings of a recent survey carried out by Rakuten that involved online shoppers in the U.K., e-mail is the most preferred customer service channel during transactions. Almost half of the respondents (49 percent) admitted preferring e-mail, making email hosting even more important than ever before, while 43 percent revealed they would rather do their deals on the phones.

These findings fall in line with another survey run last year that highlighted nearly 44 percent of U.K. consumers preferred e-mail for customer services with only one in three preferring the phone. To the contrary, data from a separate infographic on poor customer service suggests that the situation is quite different by indicating that 90 percent of U.S. consumers use the phone for customer care.

These discrepancies mostly arise from causes like conflicting methodologies. While the infographic does not say how it went about its survey, Rakuten made it clear that its survey was done online. This allows for some bias within the company’s results since they are based on tech savvy populations with e-mail addresses.

Among other things, Rakuten’s survey asked consumers what the most likely factors other than price would be that could drive them to come back to make future purchases from a specific online retailer. Loyalty programs and rewards were touted as the most popular factors (39 percent) and then an attraction to strong after-sales support took 20 percent. Personalized offers after a purchase accounted for 24 percent of the survey population.

Yet, the infographic from Zendesk paints another picture in regards to the topic at hand. It reveals that a third of consumers (34 percent) believe exceptional customer service is a strong incentive to building customer loyalty, 20 percent like rewards and 13 percent levitate towards exclusive or relevant offers.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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